As we begin a new year in this crazy uncertain world that we live in today let us pray.
Before we do things this year, let’s pray like we never have before. This country we live in needs God more now than ever in our lifetime. So, let us seek Him out first. If you wanted to ask someone for guidance, wouldn’t you ask God first? We probably are all praying several times a day now, I’m sure. So, it couldn’t hurt to do more, could it? We are told that in everything by prayer let our request be known. We need this year more than ever to pray before we do anything. Pray when you wake and be thankful for another day. Pray before you leave your home for a safe journey throughout the day. Pray for guidance in all you do or say on this journey each day. Pray before you make a purchase. Pray before you go to class, to learn or to teach. Pray before you study for wisdom. Pray that God will guide your tongue each day to help you say the right things to help others. Pray for guidance in discipline when necessary. Pray and be thankful for your food. The clothes on your back. The roof over your head. Pray for your family’s health, all your loved ones and our congregation. Pray before you study. Pray before you end your day. Pray for more peace and safety for our officers. Pray before you do anything this year.
Philippians 4:4-7 (Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.)
1Thessalonians 5:16-18 (Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.)
James 5:16 (Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.)
Luke 6:12 (It was at this time that He went off to the mountain to pray, and He spent the whole night in payer to God.)
Matthew 21:21-22 (And Jesus answered and said to them, Truly I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, Be taken up and cast into the sea, it will happen. And in all things you ask in prayer, believing you will receive.)
Mark 11:24 (Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you received them, and they will be granted you.)
Pray this year more than ever and believe that God will grant it to us.
In Him, Chuck
Demand excellence and be willing to pay for it
The price can be high for serving the Lord. Our brothers and sisters in the 1st century were willing to pay the price. They knew the price that they were going to have to pay for living and serving our Lord. When John wrote about the seven churches in Asia, we know some were willing to pay the price, but many were not. What church are we? What person am I? The rewards are great, if we are willing to pay the price. If we really look at the cost of serving the Lord, is it worth it? “I am coming quickly, hold fast to what you have so that no one will take your crown.” Revelation 3:11.
Commit yourself to constant self-improvement
We will never reach perfection, but we should never stop trying to improve. There is always something we can improve on. We do need to commit. Remember what Christ did on the cross. Our answers on improvement are all found in the Word. “But seek first the kingdom of his righteousness and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33.
Swing for the fence
There is an interesting story about Babe Ruth. In one of his last appearances at bat he pointed to the fence and said I am going to hit a home run, he did. He set out to do something and he did. Have we set out to do something and forgot the fence? We need to do our best to do what we set out to do. If we say I am going to be a light to the world for God, are we doing that? Swing for the fence and do it. “You are the light to the world, a city set on a hill cannot be hidden.” Matthew 5:14. All saw Ruth point. We can point also.
Don’t flaunt your success, but don’t apologize for it either
Be thankful for the abilities our God has given us. God gave us these things to be used. The song goes this way, “This little light of mine I’m going to let it shine” One of the verses says this, “hide it under a bushel – NO!”
How to Live - 2
Pray not for things, but for wisdom and courage.
Solomon had it right when he was asked what he wanted. It was not the material things of this world but for wisdom. Wisdom is such a powerful tool in our daily walk. Just think about how life would be if we did not know that you don't put your fingers in a live socket or that you don't walk down the middle of a busy road. When we ask God for wisdom, He is then the guide to our lives. God has ALL wisdom and knowledge. Men’s wisdom does not even come close to God’s. Remember what Solomon ask for in 1 Kings 3:9-14.
Never compromise your integrity.
In our dealings with others, we always need to be honest. There is nothing that can hurt a person’s integrity faster than to be dishonest in actions or words. People don't forget a dishonest deed done to them. It’s for sure they will not listen to you when you tell them about God. God did bless Joseph. Joseph stayed true to God even in times of trials. He was honest with his service to God. If Joseph had compromised his integrity, God would not have blessed him. Genesis 39:21 “But the Lord was with Joseph and extended kindness to him, and gave him favor in the sight of the chief jailer.” We never know what we may have to go through in this life, it may be hard or it could be good, but if we are honest, God will bless us.
Strive for excellence, not perfection.
No one has lived a perfect live except for our Lord Jesus. The reason Jesus died on that cross is because He knew we could not do that. We all have our weakness to deal with, I know I have mine. It’s daily that I call on the Lord to help me do the best I can. We are so blessed that our Lord is there to help us. Now, that does not mean that I don’t need to do my part. As Paul put it, he daily needed to buffet his body. Excellence is found in Jesus, our example. Hebrews 12:2 “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” That means we need to know what our example is saying to us. The only place to find that is in our Bibles.
Remember that winners do what losers aren’t willing to do
The word “can’t” sure can play a role in our lives. Are we willing to say we can’t, even before we try? Negative ideas can defeat us in our lives. It is such a great a feeling, when you look at something you have never tried to do and find out that you can do it. I can look at all the inventions that men have made, they sure were not successful the first time, but they learned from mistakes, and figured out how to make it work. Our Christian walk is the same way, we will make mistakes but as long as we keep on trying, we will succeed. Remember what the word says to us, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
Take responsibility for every area of your life
We can do right, no one forces us to do wrong. Now it’s for sure we can get help from God by prayer and action. We are not out there without help. The question is where do we get that help. I look at the world right now and see how depended it’s on men’s words and men’s knowledge and see what a mess we are in. God has the answers, we need to be in the Word so we can find it. “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15
Don’t waste time learning the “tricks of the trade.” Instead learn the trade.
In our congregation we have many skilled people. All learn the trade with much effort. If you learn the tricks you will not understand the steps that it took to get there. There is value in learning how. If I learn a memory verse just to say I did and don’t learn the application, it will not benefit me. Remember what the man named, Simon asked for in Acts chapter 8. Read Acts 8:18-23. Simon desired the tricks of the trade. We need to remember why there were miracles. It was to prove the Word and not to glorify man. It was good that Simon learned there was more to it than the tricks of the trade.
Words to Live By
These 10 things are right where I can see them every day. One of my sons has them on his desk at work where he looks at them every day. In the next few weeks, I will put the Bible example next to them to show us how these apply to our Christian walk. You might copy these things and put them where you can see them every day. They do keep me focused on why and how I am to live for Christ.
13397 West Ripon Road, Ripon CA 95366